International Space Station and Saturn Over Paradise

The ISS hit a peak of 80 degrees last night, almost directly overhead, and I captured a very clear shot. Then I took some good pictures of Saturn, also brightly visible last night, and made a composite of the ringed planet and the ISS for the second photo posted here. The ISS travels at 18KContinue reading “International Space Station and Saturn Over Paradise”

The Dixie Fire and Sunrise

The fire keeps going, though it hasn’t been a threat to us for awhile. Mornings are smoky and afternoons clear, with the towering presence of the fire always evident to the north. Here are two shots, the pyrocumulus cloud from yesterday evening, and a red sun this morning. Happy Friday everyone!

Midnight Skies, and a Little Rain Just Now

The Dixie Fire effects are no longer felt here, just west of Paradise. We have had steady winds to clear any haze, and about an hour ago we had a light rain – unheard of in July! Please enjoy these six pictures, beginning with a beautiful full moon from last night:

Dixie Fire Morning Sun – Smoke, Shadow, and Light

The Dixie Fire front has moved to our north and east and is at higher elevations, so we have layers of clouds and smoke in the sky, with the sunlight producing unique effects. This looks like another planet. Air quality at ground level is good here, with an AQI of 44 (compared to scores sometimesContinue reading “Dixie Fire Morning Sun – Smoke, Shadow, and Light”

Fire Season in Paradise – A Close Fire Today

We received an evacuation warning this afternoon from the Butte County Sheriff, due to a 15 acre fire about a mile away, in the next canyon over to the east. It was moving fast in our direction, so they brought in an air tanker and helos to dump retardant and stop the spread. Success! AllContinue reading “Fire Season in Paradise – A Close Fire Today”

Nature Remains Calm During the Dixie Fire

Fortunately the Dixie Fire has grown away from us, with a steady southern breeze to ensure it. I cannot see any evidence of the fire this morning to the east, though there continues to be a thick band of smoke to the northwest. I also can’t fly my drone for at least a month asContinue reading “Nature Remains Calm During the Dixie Fire”

Dixie Fire Night Panorama Northeast of Paradise

[July 19, 2021] The fire has moved far east of us tonight – no smoky air – calm, with a southern breeze here. Coyotes were howling in the canyon last night. Tankers are flying overhead now, refueling at Firebase Chico, and then back into it. Downtown Paradise can be seen lower right of the fireContinue reading “Dixie Fire Night Panorama Northeast of Paradise”

Nance Pond Today, July 17, 2021

Nance Pond can be clearly seen from the back fence now – All the burnt brush from the 2018 Camp Fire, including most of the snags except for the tallest ones, has been pushed down and broken up, for fire safety and erosion prevention. As I was moving up on a jackrabbit inside the fenceContinue reading “Nance Pond Today, July 17, 2021”

Summer Fire Season in Paradise 2021

Some haze this morning and a smoke smell. The Dixie Fire continues to grow, nearly 10K acres now, but away from us, up into the high country. As the day goes on we should again have a consistent wind from the southeast to blow the smoke away. Here are six pictures from yesterday, including anContinue reading “Summer Fire Season in Paradise 2021”

Mid-Summer in Paradise

Cooler today and normal temps for this time – 74/23 now, rising to 96/35 later. The Dixie Fire is smudging the sky near the horizon and I may have smelled a whiff of smoke, though it is really not an issue. Here are four pictures, showing the smoke smudge today looking west, a few ofContinue reading “Mid-Summer in Paradise”

Our Fire Season 2021

A much calmer time this year, though we have our first sizable fire in the county now, The Dixie Fire. Started yesterday at 60, then 500, now 1,200 acres. Burning in a wilderness area with low population. The wind is blowing from the SSE here, perfect to keep the fire and smoke out of Paradise.Continue reading “Our Fire Season 2021”

Harvesting Grapes Today

With the heat the fruit is coming in quickly. I took in about 100 white peaches yesterday, and 12 lbs/5.4 kg of red grapes today. We will eat some and juice some, and the birds get the rest. All our fruit is organic, grown in volcanic soil, and gets plenty of sun. Please enjoy theseContinue reading “Harvesting Grapes Today”

Saturday’s Sunset and The Milky Way

Last night was a very clear night for sky photos. Enjoy these five pictures, and please look left on the last one to see a faint meteor trail. The International Space Station swings by this Monday night at 10:22, at a height of 65 degrees, for seven minutes. I’ll have my camera ready for thatContinue reading “Saturday’s Sunset and The Milky Way”

A Red Tail Hawk Hunting In the Heat

This hawk was above the canyon two days ago, nearly translucent from the strength of the sun. Not even the buzzards are flying this morning. It is 93 degrees now (10 AM) and forecast to hit 112 today, and tomorrow. I am very tolerant of hot weather, and found out my body temperature is consistentlyContinue reading “A Red Tail Hawk Hunting In the Heat”

Animals Get Some Relief From The Heat At Nance Pond

Mostly deer and quail were seen on the Nance Pond gamecam this month, with one nightshot of two raccoons. The quail are growing a large bevy, now numbering twenty birds. See if you can count them all in the third photo below – it isn’t easy! We are at 108/42 today, going to 112/44 overContinue reading “Animals Get Some Relief From The Heat At Nance Pond”

A Pair of Great Horned Owls Visited This Evening

This is the first time I have seen a pair of these owls together here. What a magical sight. It was dusk, about 8 PM, and the male showed up first. Soon after I took the pictures, both soared silently down the canyon to hunt. Here are my best five photos. Enjoy!

The Sutter Buttes on US Independence Day 2021

The Sutter Buttes (elevation 2,000 ft/610 m) rising from California’s Central Valley, are the world’s smallest complete mountain range. Formed from an erupted volcano, the Sutter Buttes were considered the creation spirit for the local indigenous people. We decided to take a trip today to see how close we could get by dead reckoning. HereContinue reading “The Sutter Buttes on US Independence Day 2021”

Showing Off the Prize

Yesterday afternoon I saw this scrub jay with a huge peanut in its beak. I am finding this is not uncommon behavior, and have seen other birds too, flying about with an abundance of worms or insects in their beaks before feeding. As if to advertise their hunting prowess. Here are two pictures of theContinue reading “Showing Off the Prize”

‘Star Ladders’ and a CalFire Spotter Plane

I took several 30s time exposures last night of distant high-altitude jets. Their light patterns look like ladders to me when seen up close. Earlier, our first CalFire spotter plane of the season flew overhead. Please enjoy these four pics!

A New Discovery – A Western Pond Turtle in Nance Pond

Today I was taking pictures of the bullfrogs sunning at Nance Pond. Then I noticed something at the far end of the pond, a Western Pond turtle. I had not seen one here before. These turtles are California’s only native freshwater turtle species. They are now endangered, with an estimated 25% of the population left.Continue reading “A New Discovery – A Western Pond Turtle in Nance Pond”

Turkey Vulture at Nance Pond

Here is a striking personification of natural curiosity and focus by a turkey vulture, as it spotted me, and came over for a visit while I was down at the pond yesterday. The wingspan of these birds is about six feet, or just under two meters. Since coming to Paradise I have felt a kinshipContinue reading “Turkey Vulture at Nance Pond”

Sky Pictures and a Spotted Towhee

Here are nine recent photos from the Nikon P950. There are three cloudscapes to begin with, then the Spotted Towhee, a large sparrow, hunting in the brush, followed by a jet contrail headed northeast and correcting due north, and a close-up of the plane creating it (a Southwest airlines’ Boeing 737) above 20,000 feet. AContinue reading “Sky Pictures and a Spotted Towhee”

Snow in Paradise (A Pictorial)

It began snowing last night, wet and heavy. I took some pictures, including one of the dawn yesterday and another of the approaching storm in the afternoon. The wind was very strong last night and we have also “warmed up” by a few degrees, so heavy rain is falling now. We are just on theContinue reading “Snow in Paradise (A Pictorial)”

Four Sky Views and a Hummingbird – A Pictorial

Enjoying this quiet time for rest and rejuvenation. The sky is beautiful and always changing now during early winter. This morning the setting full moon was a special treat before daybreak. Here are five favorites from yesterday and today. Please enjoy! 🙂

Four Views of Nance Pond Today

My Nikon P900 was well-worn after five years of heavy use, and it was time for a replacement. Thankfully this year Nikon came out with the P950. It is a little heavier but the balance is better, and the performance in terms of speed and resolution is excellent. Same 83x optical zoom, and with aContinue reading “Four Views of Nance Pond Today”

Upper Nance Canyon – A Pictorial

The smoke has died away and we have clean healthy air, though we remain in a severe fire warning condition. The nearby fire is 95 percent contained, however if the wind comes up there is still plenty of fuel left to burn inside the perimeter. The wind has been lighter than forecast, but a proactiveContinue reading “Upper Nance Canyon – A Pictorial”

Near Sunset in Paradise – October 8th, 2020

All of our evacuation orders and warnings have been lifted in Butte County, and the nearby North Complex West Zone fire is about 90 percent contained (not out, though no longer growing). The skies are much clearer and we have even had the windows open all day – haven’t been able to do that sinceContinue reading “Near Sunset in Paradise – October 8th, 2020”

Approaching the Equinox in Northern California – A Pictorial for 2020

Images accumulate over time in my Nikon as the year advances. Here are a favorite eight showing us moving into Fall, as the weather cools and the current crop of fires wane slightly. Enjoy! 🙂